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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Shuttle missions continue as 78 B-17s with 55 P-51s escort, leave bases in the USSR to hit airfields in Rumania; 38 hit Buzau and 35 hit Zlistea; no Luftwaffe fighters are encountered during the mission and the force flies to Italy.

Mission 530: 414 B-24s and 265 fighters are dispatched to attack airfields and V-weapon sites in France; 115 hit V-weapons sites in the Pas de Calais; 91 hit Clastres Airfield, 53 hit Romilly air depot, 50 hit La Perthe Airfield, 12 hit Laon/Athies Airfield, 14 hit railroad bridges, 13 hit targets of opportunity and 11 hit Bretigny Airfield; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 139 are damaged; 11 airmen are KIA, 9 WIA and 9 MIA. Escort is provided by 265 P-47s and P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA).

Mission 531: 681 B-17s and 100 P-51s are dispatched to bomb enemy troop concentrations and strongpoints S of Caen; 25 Canadian soldiers are killed and 131 wounded by short bombing; 231 hit Cauvincourt, 99 hit Bretteville-sur-Laise strongpoint, 99 hit St Sylvain strong point, 67 hit targets of opportunity and 1 hits Gouvix strongpoint; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 294 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA, 15 WIA and 35 MIA. Escort is provided by 91 of 100 P-51s; they claim 4-1-6 aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA).

41 of 50 P-51s escort RAF Coastal Command Beaufighters on a convoy strike in Norway; 3 P-51s are lost and 3 damaged; 1 pilot is WIA and 3 MIA.

175 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s fly a fighter-bomber mission against the railroad N and W of Dijon; 2 P-47s and 2 P-51s are lost; 1 P-38, 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost; 5 airmen are MIA.

Mission 532: 5 of 5 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,

Mission Reports

FRANTIC Mission Reportssource: Air Force Historical Research Agency http://www.afhra.af.mil/
303BG Mission Report - Target: Tactical Mission in Support of Ground Troops, Caen Area, France. Crews Dispatched: 36 (358BS - 9, 359th - 9, 360th - 9, 427th - 9). Length of Mission: 4 hours, 35 minutes. Bomb Load: 38 x 100 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 14,050, 13,500 & 15,200 ft. Ammo Fired: 50 rounds.

There were no clouds in the target area, but haze was present up to 15,000 ft. Air-to-ground visibility was limited to eight to ten miles. For these reasons, the lead and low Groups could not identify the target area in time to bomb it with certainty.

The lead Group dropped 446 100-lb. bombs on a small railroad marshalling yard at Courtonne, France, as a target of opportunity from 15,200 ft. Photos indicated that this choke point was hit. The low Group dropped 355 100-lb. bombs from 14,000 ft. on a railroad track at 48E 06'N/00E 22'E as a target of opportunity. The bomb pattern was concentrated on the tracks, which were cut. The high Group dropped 456 100-lb. bombs on the primary target at Caen, France, from 15,200 ft. Bombs hit in the target area about 1,500 yards SSW of the assigned MPI.

No enemy aircraft were seen and friendly fighters furnished good area support. Moderate and inaccurate flak was encountered at the primary target, causing minor damage to one B-17. No aircraft returned early. All aircraft landed at Molesworth with no casualties.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #55 Monte Gournay, La Briqueterie. Command Pilot: GARRETT. 26 planes were dispatched. 17 planes dropped 36.2 tons on the primary target and 9 failed to bomb. 26 Credit Sorties. source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 175. Primary Target: Tactical - Bretteville-sur-Laize, France

31 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 31

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 1st and 3rd Air Divisions attacked tactical targets south of Caen in support of the British and Canadian Armies.

The 388th furnished two Groups, lead and low in the 45th B Combat Wing. We also furnished 4 a/c which flew high squadron in the Composite Group. The Composite was filled out with a/c from the 452nd and 96th Bomb Groups and flew as high Group in the 45th B Combat Wing formation.

30 a/c were airborne between 1000 and 1028 hours. There were 10 aborts. The Wing formation was effected and the briefed route to the target was followed. The target area was obscured by haze and smoke and was not attacked as instructions were not to bomb unless a positive sighting could be made. Our number two aircraft had a malfunction and his bombs were accidentally released. Six other a/c dropped on these bombs. These bombs were away at 1342 hours from 11,100 feet. One a/c jettisoned his bombs when hit by flak in the bomb bay. One crew member was wounded by flak. Fairly accurate flak was encountered over the target. All of our a/c returned to base by 1538 hours.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Target: the removal or neutralization of large enemy forces near Hautmesnil, France. The 613th furnished 10 aircraft flying in the Low Box with Lt. J.J. Connolly as Box Leader. There was no air opposition. The Lead Ship of the High Box caught a direct burst of flak near Caen; no other flak was encountered. The Lead Box did not drop bombs due to smoke and dust covering the entire target area, making it unsafe to drop. High Box bombs hit east of Caen, on the east bank of the Orne River. Bombs of the Low Box were observed to hit on the eastern edge of the target. Crews participating were: Jennings, Connolly, Budd, Lippert, Nelson.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - After a day off, a huge tactical effort was flown by our front line support to the Canadian and British Armies on their front lines in the general area of Hauntmensil, France which is South-west of Caen. This effort was despatched on August 8th with three boxes of 12 aircraft each participating from the 401st. They flew as the 94th "B" CBW. Unfortunately this mission turned out to be a bad day with only one box being able to bomb. when the lead reached the target area they found it smoked up from the previous bombings and could not jeopardize our ground troops by indiscriminate bombing. The High Box encountered the same problem and didn't bomb. However, the Low Box, after making an unbriefed approach was able to hit the assigned target area. Due to the Lead aircraft of the High Box being hit by flak after it had turned back over friendly lines with its bomb bays open a most tragic thing occurred. When his aircraft was hit by flak it started a fire in the bomb-bays and cockpit and the bombs were released in the emergency and all the other aircraft in the box dropped on the leader. The result was that the whole Group bombed the Canadian front lines causing some casualties. This most regrettable occurrence was deeply felt by all. A little flak was seen by the High Box over friendly territory but which probably came from the German lines. This flak hit - Major Maupin's aircraft in which he was flying as Air Commander with Captain Ball and his crew. They were forced to bailout immediately and unfortunately four of the enlisted men were killed.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - This mission set out to bomb enemy troop concentrations and strongpoints in the Caen area. It was in support of the Canadian and British Army. The Group put up three Boxes of 12 aircraft to form the "A" Wing of the 94th CBW with Major W.C. Garland as Air Commander. The Low Box made an unbriefed approach to the target and were able to bomb their assigned area. The other two Boxes could not find the target due to smoke from previous Groups bombing and turned away. The Lead Aircraft of the High Box had just reached the Canadian lines when it took a direct flak burst and burst into flames, killing four of the crew. The bombs were released in the emergency and in consequence the whole of the Box released their bombs at the same time, bombing the Canadian front line. 25 Canadian soldiers were killed and 131 wounded in this regrettable incident. The 614th Squadron did not bomb because of smoke and dust obscuring the target. Crews: 42-39780 Lincoln, 42-97947 Harasym, 42-97478 Kovach, 42-102659 Lerwick, 44-6145 Evans, 42-107151 Silverstein, 42-97931 La Fevor, 42-31863 Rozzell, 42-97872 Koons.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The Group were briefed at 0640 hrs for this mission, 39 aircraft, one weather ship and 3 observer aircraft crews taking part. All ships for the mission were airborne by 1035 hrs. The mission was to support ground troops near Caen. Major Garland was the Wing Leader and Major Maupin and Lt. Connolly the Box Leaders. The target was covered with smoke and the Lead Box did not drop bombs. The Low Box dropped on the eastern edge of the target area. Major Maupin's aircraft, piloted by Capt. Ball, received a direct hit by flak and the bombs were salvoed. Others in the High Box dropped on the Leader and some of the bombs fell among Canadian troops, killing 25 and wounding 131. Five bailed out, including three wounded, and four went down with the ship. The aircraft that went down was from the 612th Squadron, SC-T, Serial No. 43-37510. The 615th put up the following crews: Calloway, Cooper, Wingard, Mitchell, Duckworth, Gillespie, Oas, Dow, Haskett, Mitchell, Sullivan.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - La Perth Airfield at Romilly was hit with excellent results with 25 of the 44th planes, eight from the 67th and from the 506 each, 9 from the 68th - no PFFs. We bombed visually and carried loads of 52 x 100 M47s, results were excellent. Our fighters afforded excellent close support. However, the 506th Squadron lost one ship that went down shortly after the target with #1 and #4 engines out and #2 engine on fire. Crew observed to bail out approximately 60 miles east of Paris. The plane apparently on AFCE equipment as it continued in flight when last seen. All ten chutes were seen to open before we lost sight of it. (One POW while 9 returned to duty!). Three 68th planes had category "A" damage. 506th A/C #42-100415 1 "My Peach" Pilot-2nd Lt. B.J. Komasinski and another 506 aircraft was forced to return early due to engine failure. While in the traffic pattern and banking into a dead engine the ship suddenly spun in and crashed with a full load of bombs aboard. All 10 men aboard perished in the crash, fire and explosions. 506th A/c #42-50328 "Pregnant Peg" Pilot 2nd Lt. M.G. Jacobs Note: There is a question about correct name - "Flying Log" 1st Lt. Benadom assigned to 67th Squadron on the 6th. 1st Lt. Gatti was promoted to Capt. effective the 1st. 1st Lts. Brady and O'Niel promoted to Capt. on the 5th.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Bretigny/Laon-Athies, France

2 airfields were attacked with good results.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
486th Bomb Group Flimsy reportsource: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - S.E. of Bretteville Sur-Laze. The mission for this date was a ground support operation in preparation for a break-through by the Canadian 1st Army. The assigned bombing area which lay 1000 yards. in front of the allied troops was marked with red target indicators and the forward line of friendly troops was indicated by yellow smoke shells laid down by artillery. Major Everett flying with Capt. Griffin led the "C" CBW with the 322nd Squadron furnishing the lead group,. The lead and high groups did an excellent job of bombing and the low group brought its bombs back because of inability to positively identify target area. Moderate to intense flak was encountered from enemy ground positions for about 15-20 minutes (bombing altitude - 14,000 feet). Lt. Thompson's A/C #367 received a direct hit by flak and fell to the ground in two pieces. One chute seen. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Ground support for troops in the S.E. of Caen. Our assignment today was to assist the troops on the British Canadian front near Caen in preparation for their offensive. Photos showed that our bombs fell in the assigned areas. Our low Group did not drop because of the smoke and haze which obscured target. The course took our A/C parallel to the German line for the entire bomb run and considerable flak damage was sustained. The bombers were exposed to accurate fire for 13 and 1/2 minutes. No enemy fighters were seen.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 8th of August we dispatched 3 A/C and no crews. A/C 911 and 610 Were flown by the 324th Squadron. A/C 035 was flown by the 324th Squadron. An area S. E. of Caen was the target. Bombing results were good, resulted in breakthrough of American troops. All 324th A/C returned safely. Meager, very accurate flak was encountered.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-102631).
Organization: 729BS / 452BG of Deopham Green, Norfolk.
Pilot: Lacey, Kenneth P.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Deopham Green, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97636).
Organization: 613BS / 401BG of Polebrook, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Mannix, William C.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Polebrook, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-50328).
Organization: 506BS / 44BG of Shipdham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Jacobs, Myron G.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Shipdam/ 1mi NNE Sta 115 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-8584W).
Organization: 551FTS / 495FTG of Atcham, Shropshire.
Pilot: Bond, Charles R.
Notes: bail out.
Location: Home Farm, Cruckton England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-6704).
Organization: / of Piryatin, USSR.
Pilot: Egeland, Howard B.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: /Sta 560 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B7 (#43-7047).
Organization: 362FS / 357FG of Leiston, Suffolk.
Pilot: Gilbert, William T.
Notes: bailed out due to structural failure.
Location: Bradwell Bay/ 12mi W England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: UC-78 (#43-32082).
Organization: 381SrS / 7PRG of Mount Farm, Oxfordshire.
Pilot: Hoover, John B.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Mount Farm, Oxfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

Mission Stats (Targets, Aircraft, Casualties, etc.)

Mission "Other Operations"
Recon: photo, scouting, weather,
August 08, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Bomb TonnageEnemy
(on gnd)
Mission Targets

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weather3 A/C
photo27 A/C

H2X5 A/C
weather3 A/C
weather2 A/C
weather8 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
6 A/C

6 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
7th Photographic Group (Recon)
5th Emergency Rescue Squadron
802nd Reconnaissance Group
Aircraft Losses

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
7PG (1 a/c)